This easy gazpacho: antioxidants in a soup bowl is the U.S. version of the Spanish chilled soup is an antioxidant-rich treat that is super quick and easy to whip up- literally within minutes. Make two batches, as it tastes even better the next day.
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Summer is my favorite season, especially when it comes to the bounty of vegetables it offers. This Easy Gazpacho is rich in PHYTONUTRIENTS as many colorful veggies come together for this flavorful soup.
The recipe originates from Spain, but has its own version in the U.S. In fact, I have had the opportunity to enjoy both the European as well as the U.S. version. In Europe, the choice of herbs is usually basil and parsley whereas in the U.S., the combination is usually parsley and cilantro. This soup is a summer treat, and is enjoyed chilled. In fact, in France, a restaurant had a really innovative twist on this soup: they served a frozen ball of gazpacho over finely cubed cucumbers. YUM!
Eating veggies with healthy fats increases the nutrient absorption
Once I came across a brand of Japanese vegetable juices in Singapore, which had the unique selling point of added olive oil to the juices with the claim that it helped to absorb the veggie antioxidants better. Upon further research I found that the claim was not very far from the truth-- lycopene in tomatoes and vitamin A in peppers is better absorbed when eaten with fat. This is likely why, in mediterranean cuisine, extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO) is often added to salad dressings and soups.
Extra-virgin olive oil is a great choice to add to a soup. However, please stay away from the processed versions of olive oil, which often seem like the real deal. Recently, I have also started using flaxseed oil in foods that are usually eaten at room temperature or cold. Flaxseed oil offers a host of health benefits including preventing inflammation. One thing to remember when using flaxseed oil is to NEVER HEAT IT UP. It is important to buy a trusted brand of cold-pressed oils as it is sometimes hard to discern the difference between highly processed oil and cold-pressed oils just by looking at the packaging. Here are my favorite and trusted brands for EVOO and flaxseed oil.
Let's make the Easy Gazpacho: Antioxidants in a soup bowl
This is possibly one of the easiest recipes that I have published. The secret to great taste of this soup is FRESH and ORGANIC vegetables.
Step 1: wash the vegetables really well.
Step 2: De-seed the tomatoes, jalapeño, and red pepper. Seasonal cucumbers usually don't have big seeds, but if they do, go ahead and deseed the cucumber as well.
Meal planning tips for easy gazpacho
This soup celebrates summer and tastes great when vegetables have spent fewer days on the the grocery shelf. In fact, the best way to find the freshest veggies is your local Farmers market.
This soup can be stored in refrigerator in an airtight container for up to four days. These food storage containers are my favorite as they offer a tight lock. The soup tastes even better the next day as the flavor have a chance of melding overnight; so, be sure to make multiple batches.
You can also freeze this soup in an airtight container for up to four weeks. But fresh veggies do tend to lose of their nutrients when stored for long time.
A step-by-step recipe of Easy Gazpacho: Antioxidants in a bowl
Easy Gazpacho: antioxidants in a soup bowl
- 3 tomatoes (large, ~1.5 lbs, any variety, deseeded)
- 1 cucumber (medium, ~6"-7", deseed only if the seeds are too big)
- 1 white onion (small, can sub with other varieties)
- 1 red pepper (large, can sub with any other color, deseeded)
- 1 tbsp fresh parsley (can add an extra tbsp of parsley for a robust flavor)
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro (or sub with equal amount basil)
- 1 clove garlic (or to taste)
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (~1.5 large lemon)
- 2 tbsp lime juice (can sub with equal amount balsamic vinegar)
- 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil*
- 3/4 tsp pink Himalayan salt (or to taste, can sub with regular salt)
- 1/4 jalapeño (seeded)
- 1 pinch cayenne pepper powder (optional)
- 2 pinches freshly ground black pepper (or to taste)
- Wash all the vegetables under running water.
- Deseed the tomatoes, jalapeño, and red pepper. Seasonal cucumbers have soft and tiny seeds, so it is find not to remove seeds. However, if the cucumber seeds are hard and big, remove them before adding cucumber to the soup.
- Add all the ingredients to a blender and blend until well mixed. Chill for at least 3-4 hours before serving.
- Use flaxseed oil to take the "HEALTHY" level to the next notch.
- Omit oil, to make the oil-free version. It still tastes awesome.
- If you want your gazpacho to be of slightly thinner consistency, add 1/2 cup of filtered water.
- If you like basil, replace cilantro with equal amount basil